Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017

Exploring the Cumberland Plateau

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I wanted to see more of the deep forest but was still recovering from a long hike out of the gulf a few weeks ago, so instead decided to bike on the lower edge of the property of Virgin Falls nature reserve.

The bike trip started at the highest point on Lost Creek Road just south of Sparta. Since most of the downhill ride was on loose gravel, we didn't dare pick up any speed even with gravity almost demanding it. By going slowly, many bird calls could be appreciated. The Lost Creek Cave emerges from beneath the roadbed and contains a spring-fed creek with tumbling waters that seem to attract many of the deep woods birds.

After 3 miles of mostly downhill biking we came to the Caney Fork River and a very primitive road going upstream into Scots Gulf. Biking the rough roadway was almost too uncomfortable so we abandoned the path after about half a mile and returned to the pavement and the highway bridge over the river. From there the road started sloping upward again so we loaded the bikes in the car to tour the rest of the area in air-conditioned comfort.

The deep woods offers an almost indescribable serenity and my trip seemed to get me back to the primal state of my being.

Editors Note: George Robertson is a physician with Family Medical Associates, PC, in Lebanon.

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